Why are the images of Haiti so graphic?

By the way, I favor such graphicness, but I am wondering:

The images coming out of Haiti are more graphic than those from recent natural disasters, and the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan…

Or is Haiti simply an exception? Is there something about the essential status of the entire country and its people that gives the media new license?

The usual conventions of suggesting rather than displaying trauma seem to have been punctured, at least for now. Bodies caked in dust and plaster, faces covered in blood, the dead stacked in the streets without sheets to hide them — these are all violations of the unwritten code that death can only be seen, in the established etiquette of the mainstream media, by analogy or metaphor or discreet substitute.

Here is more detail.  You'll note there is a long history of portraying Haiti in lurid terms.


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